Advice to Congress: go listen to Dave Ramsey for an hour.

What an hour that would be.

I had the priviledge to listen to Ramsey as he gave a 90 minute financial pep talk to service members and spouses last week. If you’ve ever heard Ramsey’s radio show, it shouldn’t come as surprise that he’s even better in person. The folksy wit, wisdom and ever-flowing humor go a long way to salve the stupid money decisions of the past. Instapundit linked to this today: Dave Ramsey on the 5 Basics of Personal Finance.

Too many folks live like our government, except they don’t have access to a printing press. Ramsey writes:

Money’s fun—if you’ve got some. But the problem is a lot of people aren’t having fun. About 70 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. That means if you count 10 houses on your street, seven of those families have too much month left at the end of the money. They’re broke—and stressed out.

Ouch. No wonder the divorce rate is so high. Oddly enough, the one thing he didn’t mention last week was an observation pjHusband made a while back: the number one thing you can do to preserve your wealth is stay married. Go figure, eh? We’ve seen divorce ravage a number of friends emotionally–and financially. And in all honesty, the financial recovery takes longer.

The first Ramsey recommendation is a no-brainer (that’s why it’s too complicated for our government): Get out of debt!

What a concept, right? Cut up those credit cards. Or stop the presses.

Second: Act your wage.  Translation: don’t spend more than you make. Again, it doesn’t take a team of Ivy League government bureaucrats to … oh, wait. They don’t get it. Especially when it’s not their money.

Third: Get on a budget. A real one, no less. Hey, Democrats–it ain’t your money to spend! And you don’t have much of it. So how about spending like the rest of us have to–on a budget? Just in case you Democrats and RINOs don’t understand what a real budget means, here’s some solid Ramsey advice:

Just write out the month’s expected income minus planned expenses on paper, on purpose, before the month begins–and then stick to the plan.

I know how difficult this must sound, y’all, but really, once you get the hang of it, it’s not so bad! Tip: make sure it’s real money. Not imaginary. Not freshly printed. Not borrowed from China. Cut until you can pay for those expenses!

Four: Save and invest.  Ramsey:

We save money for three things: an emergency fund (3–6 months of expenses set aside for emergencies), purchases and wealth building. Once you’re out of debt and have a full emergency fund, there’s no reason why you can’t put 15 percent of your income into retirement

Plan your own retirement. I will never see a dime of Social Security. Neither will most folks like me under 40. The money doesn’t exist.

Last on the Ramsey plan: Give money away. Tithe. Gift with joy. Give where it’s needed most. To any random Congress member reading: you can’t give money away when you’ve got to print it. Just sayin’.

On a related giving note, I was incredibly impressed that Ramsey gifted his time to the soldiers and families present. He does this at bases across the country while he’s on tour. Pretty cool, huh? His new book is on my wish list.

There’s no quick-fix to money problems when you’re in the hole. Paying off debt isn’t fun. But it must be done. We’re ready for the pain because we want our kids to have a fighting chance, just like we did. So bring it on, Republicans.


Oh, heartbreaking

I missed this story last week but can’t get it out of my head this morning.

In short, a mom became profoundly disabled as a result of medical mishaps during the delivery of her triplets. Dad divorces mom after a year realizing she’ll never recover. Mom now in care of her parents on opposite side of the country, and dad seemingly does what he can to prevent the kids from knowing their mother.

How low have we sunk as a whole in devaluing life that disability must be hidden away? That children cannot know their mother because she nearly died giving birth? Or, as Wesley Smith asks: Do profoundly disabled people have parental rights?

Abby Dorn is that mom. A court issued a temporary ruling last week that she does have the right to see her children, regardless of her disability.

Thank God.

More from Dr. Manny.

UPDATE: linked as a Recommended Read by Pundette. Thanks!

Surprise, surprise, surprise: Lila Rose exposes Planned Parenthood exec as liar

So much for the argument that Planned Parenthood needs your tax dollars to provide free mammograms for poor women who would otherwise be unable to pay:

I love the line at the 1:00 mark. No, we’re a surgical facility.

H/t Matthew Archibold who adds:

Firstly, remind me never to make an enemy of Lila Rose because dude she’s scary good at taking down the federally funded Goliath called Planned Parenthood. Today she just released a new video where using a bunch of phone calls she has exposed the abortion giant as a bunch of liars. I know it’s shocking that people who kill babies for a living would also be a bunch of big fat liars.

I’d add the Susan G. Komen Foundation to that list, too. Remember, they give to PP under the premise of supporting “breast health.”

UPDATE: linked by Backyard Conservative who has more commentary. Thanks!

Dreaded words: Pass Closed


Especially on the day to drive home.

In the PJ backcountry


A la Althouse.

If GW had ever allied himself with sworn enemies…

Liberals would have mocked him mercilessly.

Via Pajamas Media, the Libyan rebel leader fought against us in Afghanistan.  John Rosenthal writes:

Shortly after unrest broke out in eastern Libya in mid-February, reports emerged that an “Islamic Emirate” had been declared in the eastern Libyan town of Darnah and that, furthermore, the alleged head of that Emirate, Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi, was a former detainee at the American prison camp in Guantánamo. The reports, which originated from Libyan government sources, were largely ignored or dismissed in the Western media.

Now, however, al-Hasadi has admitted in an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore that he fought against American forces in Afghanistan. (Hat-tip: Thomas Joscelyn at the Weekly Standard.) Al-Hasadi says that he is the person responsible for the defense of Darnah — not the town’s “Emir.” In a previous interview with Canada’s Globe and Mail, he claimed to have a force of about 1,000 men and to have commanded rebel units in battles around the town of Bin Jawad.

“I have never been at Guantánamo,” al-Hasadi explained to Il Sole 24 Ore. “I was captured in 2002 in Peshawar in Pakistan, while I was returning from Afghanistan where I fought against the foreign invasion. I was turned over to the Americans, detained for a few months in Islamabad, then turned over to Libya and released from prison in 2008.”


At NRO, Jonah Goldberg adds:

I don’t think this is a bombshell, but I hope somebody in the White House is on top of this.

I disagree with the first assertion, and I can hedge my bets on the second: doubtful!

We need ground troops–of the Special Ops variety–if this “kinetic action” is to have any quick or lasting effect. Considering our guys were fighting these dudes in Afghanistan, then … yeah. Likely? Doubtful.

Pundette has more on Libya this morning, especially a lovely tidbit about the brilliant telling operational name of our days, no “weeks, not days,” kinetic action. Didn’t they say Obama and his minions were so smart that we’d see genius at work all over the place! Turns out they were right. Heh.

Ham and taxes.

Oh Friday. A Friday in Lent during which I put ham on my husband’s breakfast bagel before realizing it was Friday.

Doh. pjHusband said it reminded him of another wife giving forbidden foodstuffs.



Naptime blogging ahead if I’m lucky. Plus, more Canadian fanmail in the queue! Check the google feed for good coffee reading.

Tooooooooo much housework on the docket (I use the term loosely, to include in this case digging through the remaining boxes in the garage from last summer’s move to find tax junk. Fun stuff, indeed.)

Speaking of taxes, isn’t it handy to be a BFF of the President? That way you don’t catch too much grief when it turns out your ginormous company doesn’t pay any taxes at all. And gets money back, to boot! Jonah Goldberg calls the endless loopholes “nonsense.” I have another word for it.

I’m with the Lonely Conservative: I prefer not to buy GE products.

Now back to my handful of boxes in the chilly garage. Do they multiply in the night?

Heh: Obama locked out of Oval Office

What a shame someone let him back in, eh?

Jim Hoft wonders why this isn’t on auto-loop on every channel. Oh, of course!

H/t: Memeorandum

From the inbox: Happy Birthday to Obamacare by the numbers

From Congressman John Fleming (R-LA):

Today, on the one year anniversary since government-approved health care was signed into law, a look at the implementation of the new health care reform reveals how the legislation has failed to deliver on costs, premiums, spending, and preserving Americans’ existing coverage:

19 — States where parents can no longer buy child-only insurance policies as a result of the law
30 — States suing to block the law from taking effect, or requesting waivers from its requirements
51 — Percentage of American workers who will lose their current health coverage by 2013, according to the Administration’s own estimates
1,270 — New bureaucrats requested by the Internal Revenue Service to implement the law this year
$2,100 — Increase in individual insurance premiums due to Obamacare, according to the Congressional Budget Office
$2,500 — Premium reduction promised by candidate Obama “by the end of my first term as President”
6,578 — Pages of new regulations issued implementing Obamacare through March 14, 2011
800,000 — Reduction in the American labor force due to Obamacare provisions that “will effectively increase marginal tax rates, which will also discourage work,” according to the CBO
2,624,720 — Total individuals in 1,040 plans granted waivers thus far exempting them from the law’s insurance mandates; nearly half of whom participate in union plans
7,400,000 — Reduction in Medicare Advantage enrollment as a result of Obamacare, resulting in a loss of choice for seniors and millions of beneficiaries losing their current health plan
40,000,000 — Firms subject to the health law’s new 1099 reporting requirements, which the National Federation of Independent Business called a “tremendous new paperwork compliance burden”
$118,000,000,000 — New costs imposed on states to implement Obamacare—budgetary costs that will lead to reduced services for other state programs like education or to higher state taxes
$310,800,000,000 — Projected increase in health costs due to Obamacare, according to the independent Medicare actuary, who called its promise of lower costs “false, more so than true”
$552,200,000,000 — Amount of higher taxes Americans will pay if Obamacare remains in place
$1,390,000,000,000 — Federal spending on new entitlements during fiscal years 2012-2021 according to the CBO, a 48 percent increase from an earlier estimate

Incredible, no, to see Hopenchange in action. This echos Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson’s WSJ article yesterday in which he recounts the medical miracles that kept his now-adult daughter alive as an infant. He writes:

Since 1970, American doctors have won more Nobel Prizes for Medicine than all other countries combined. According to McKinsey and Co., thousands of foreigners come to the United States every year for medical care they cannot get at home—due to rationing or because it is simply not provided. And cutting-edge drugs to treat serious illnesses are more widely available in the U.S. than abroad.

Take cancer as one example. Compared to the U.S., breast cancer mortality is 9% higher in Canada (according to the government statistics of each country), 52% higher in Germany and 88% higher in the United Kingdom (according to studies published in Lancet Oncology). Prostate cancer mortality is 604% higher in Britain.

Those in need of timely care from specialists are better off in the U.S. Drawing on several peer-reviewed studies, Dr. Scott Atlas of the Stanford University Medical Center notes that patients who need knee and hip replacement, cataract surgery, and radiation treatment wait months longer in the United Kingdom and Canada than in the United States.

Wait schmaite, eh? Joe Canadian would prefer to emphasize that no one in Canada ever receives a bill for treatment. True enough. Hard to deliver bills to dead folks, eh, Joe Canadian?  You can take your free health care, dude. Enjoy every minute and hope you don’t get prostate cancer. Or cataracts. Or need a new hip. It might blunt your appreciation for that no-bill-treatment.

No wonder Baby Joseph needed to leave Canada

The last post on Baby Joseph brought commenters all the way from Canada. Not very nice ones, I might add. But before posting the Canadian pleasantries, I’ll toss this up: Baby Joseph finally received his tracheotomy  Monday and will be soon be heading home. Yes, to die. At home. Surrounded by his family and in less pain from the breathing tubes.

I have never argued that his life could be saved with better care. Neither did his parents in the myriad articles I read. They just wanted Joseph to die peacefully at home where they could care for him rather than watching their baby writhe while he suffocated to death in a sterile hospital. The Maraachli’s fought the hospital’s decision in court and lost–lost the request to have a tracheotomy that would have enabled them to take Joseph home to die in peace.

May I present the first feel-the-Canadian-love comment, from Magatha:

This post is inaccurate. The priests did not remove this baby “under cover of darkness.” In fact, they didn’t enter the hospital at all. Despite the misgivings of medical experts, the London hospital released the child to the priests willingly. They even provided medical transport and staff in order to take the child to the airstrip where the priests were awaiting the child. Oh, and the doctors did not delay baby Joseph’s transfer–it took the priests two weeks to find a hospital in the U.S. to take the baby. Approximately 12 hospitals, upon reviewing the baby’s medical charts, declined to take Joseph on as a patient. Furthermore, the doctors who were caring for Joseph have determined that the baby has no hope of recovery. This is not because they don’t want to treat him; it’s because this baby is, unfortunately, dying.

Here’s another fact that you may not be aware of: Joseph’s older sister, Zina, died of the same neurological condition about 8 years ago. At that time, doctors did acquiese to the parents’ request to trach her and send her home. She was in and out of the hospital with terrible infections and finally died in the hospital.

I would like to also point out that the St. Louis hospital that did finally take this poor child announced that they would reveal their treatment plans and would also be inserting a tracheotomy by the end of this past week. They made this announcement on Monday, Mar 14. It is now Saturday, March 19 and there have been no announcements as to how they plan to treat this baby, nor has he received a tracheotomy. Perhaps that’s because these doctors realize what a terrible position they are in–they’ve given hope to a family and must now take that hope away again. What a terrible situation for everyone involved.

Since you’re so concerned, Magatha, he did receive his tracheotomy on March 21st. But with Canadian press articles like this one, no wonder you’re so tormented. Yes, I was aware of Joseph’s older sister. I posted about the family’s heartbreak previously. The hospital didn’t “give hope to a family” only to take it away. From the LifeSite story:

Joseph was rescued a week ago from a Canadian hospital in London, Ontario  by Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, who paid for a private specialized medical plane to take the boy to SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis, Missouri so he could have the medical procedure before his parents take him home, where he will likely die soon from a degenerative neurological condition.

Moe Maraachli, the baby’s father, released a statement saying, “Good morning all friends and family and supporters. Me and my wife we thank you so much for everything and for your praying to our baby Joseph ….today is big day for Joseph.”

The family fought to take their son home. To die. Like his older sister. His sister was given the tracheotomy. That’s why they wanted one for Joseph.

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